Nantwich Town cruised in to the third round of the FA Trophy thanks to a 5-2 demolition of Witton Albion.
The Dabbers had to overcome falling behind early on, but that proved to be a minor blip as they swept past their Northern Premier League top-flight rivals last night.
Striker Scott McGowan continued his rich vein of scoring form with a brace – taking his tally to four goals in two matches – to help Nantwich book a home tie against Hereford at the Weaver Stadium on Saturday.
Hosts Witton, riding high in fifth place in the league, broke the deadlock in the eighth minute as Scott Bakkor fired past Greg Hall.
Nantwich levelled after 28 minutes. McGowan chased what appeared to be a lost cause, and after winning possession, cut inside and slotted an effort beyond the Witton keeper.
And Dave Cooke’s men went in to half-time 2-1 up courtesy of a superb second from McGowan.
The former 1874 Northwich frontman latched on to Luke Walsh’s ball forward and lobbed Witton keeper Chris Renshaw to put the visitors in front.
Nantwich put daylight between themselves and Witton 10 minutes in to the second half.
Defender Ben Harrison, who had been booked in the first period, rose highest at the back post to power home David Webb’s corner.
Witton pushed forward in their bid to get back in to the tie with Hall tipping a cross-shot over and Bakkor then shooting wide when he should have done better.
Curtis Miller – on loan from Altrincham – had a chance to mark his Nantwich debut with a goal, but Renshaw was equal to his effort.
The tie was put to bed midway through the second half.
Walsh, pulling the strings for the visitors, found David Webb, who kept his composure to lift the ball over the advancing Renshaw to make it 4-1.
The creator then became goalscorer in the final minute with Walsh producing a fine finish to make it five.
Witton grabbed a late consolation thanks to Rob Hopley’s header, but Nantwich ran out comfortable winners.
Hereford now pay a visit to South Cheshire this weekend after they defeated St Neots Town 3-0 in their second-round encounter.
Nantwich boss Cooke, speaking to Dabbers TV, said: “It took us a bit of time to get going and we were sloppy.
“We looked at the conditions, we looked at the fact Witton had won five on the bounce and I was here on Saturday when they beat Bamber Bridge.
“That was a game they put to bed with ease, but we committed hari-kari early on.
“But when you’ve got someone like Scott McGowan in your team, who shows respect to nobody, it gave everyone a lift and his goals were out of this world.
“We said that at half-time ‘Scott’s pulled you out of it, get your fingers out and get going in the second half’. That’s what we did and we played some super stuff.
“Scott’s a predator, he will score goals, but Luke Walsh was also fantastic.”